Is this the year?

I’m laying restless in the bedroom after she woke up from a bad dream – the dark air filled with the sound of deep breaths and the faux pitter patter of rain from a projector that has perched atop the dresser since the day we brought her home from the hospital. And now, here we are – four days away from her 7th birthday.

Seven. A seemingly small number, but one that carries with it milestones that I know are looming on the horizon. 

A week from now we will officially have two school-aged children, in kindergarten and second grade. I knew this time would get here, of course… though I couldn’t have been prepared for how soon. And I can’t help but wonder, will this be the year?

Will this be the year that she loses more teeth and he loses that last bit of baby softness that gathers around his wrists? Will it be the year she stops wanting me to join her for lunch in the school cafeteria, or the year he stops tearing the knees of all his pants from speed-crawling on the floor “vrooming” cars? Will it be the year she goes from a little girl to a young lady, growing inches taller and even wiser beyond her years? Will this be the year he outgrows his constant desire to “have a snuggle” and cozy in with me each morning before we rise to take on the day?

Will this be the year they stop asking me to kiss boo boos, fetch their glasses of water, plan elaborate birthday parties for their stuffed animals, or sing just one more “goodnight song” before falling asleep? (God, I hope not…)

I can’t be sure what this year will hold, and if I’m being honest, the thought of so many changes soon to come leaves me feeling uneasy. So for now, I’ll softly stroke her hair and ease her mind from her bad dream (she still needs me, for now, to protect her). I’ll move from bed to bed to have that snuggle with her little brother (he still, for now, moves in tight when he feels me near). And I’ll cherish every single breath that comes until the sun comes up, all the while praying this will be the year that time takes it easy on me.

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